Calcium for dogs should be considered under circumstances such as when you are feeding your dog a homemade diet or if otherwise recommended by your vet. Certain life stages may call for additional calcium including puppyhood, pregnancy and late adulthood. Calcium for dogs is essential for bone and muscle health and other important bodily functions. Dog calcium requirements differ by dog and are based on the phosphorus to calcium ratio.
What is calcium for dogs?
Calcium is a mineral that is vital for a healthy dog. Calcium in a dog’s diet will support bone, teeth and muscle health and prevent osteoporosis and other diseases. Calcium helps with heart function, nerve transmission and hormone secretion. Calcium is absorbed into a dog’s body via Vitamin D3 and so this vitamin is also equally as essential. Calcium for dogs is one of the prime considerations when feeding a raw or homemade diet.
Calcium deficiency dogs symptoms
Whether you make your own dog food, plan on doing so or feed your dog outside of the packaged food industry, you’ll need to make sure your dog is getting enough calcium. Symptoms of calcium deficiency in dogs includes lethargy, lack of appetite, muscle twitching and restlessness. Calcium is stored in bones and teeth and so if your dog is calcium deficient, their body’s calcium supply will diminish first, leading to brittle teeth and bones (rickets). If you suspect your dog has a calcium deficiency, you should consult your vet as soon as possible.
What are dog calcium requirements?
The amount of calcium a dog requires depends on the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in their diet. Commercialized dog food will provide the daily calcium requirement. For homemade diets, the meat and poultry we feed our dogs is high in phosphorus and so calcium needs to be supplemented in. Just as important as if your dog is getting enough calcium is how your dog is getting calcium. You can buy calcium supplements in the form of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Commercialized dog food usually includes calcium in the form of dicalcium phosphate, which has been suspected to cause kidney stones and disease. As with most things, it’s best to get necessary nutrition from whole and properly prepared foods.
What foods can you give your dog that are rich in calcium?
Dairy such as yogurt and cheese can be given to your dog for a calcium boost. However, dairy should not be relied on for calcium because it can be hard on your dog’s digestive system. Yogurt is specifically good for including probiotics; just make sure it is minimally sweetened and contains no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. When supplementing calcium into a home prepared diet, use an all-natural supplement powder or make your own by grinding meat bones or making eggshell powder. Other foods rich in calcium that are safe to feed your dog include:
- Fish - salmon, tuna, trout, sardines
- Vegetables - spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes
Does your dog’s diet have enough calcium?
You’ll want to take stock of your dog’s diet to ensure they are getting enough calcium. It’s always a good idea to know what your dog is eating on the daily by reading the ingredients list and knowing how to choose good dog food. Packaged dog food will have nutrition information listed on the label including vitamin and mineral contents such as calcium and should meet the minimum recommended for dog health. You will mainly be concerned with if your dog’s diet has enough calcium if you don’t adhere to strictly feeding your dog commercialized food or you create your dog’s diet menu.
Calcium for dogs dosage
Calcium for dogs dosage depends on both the size of the dog and their life stage, but is primarily determined by the phosphorus to calcium ratio in your dog’s diet. Make sure to do your research regarding the type of diet you’re feeding your dog, adhere to instructions on supplement labels and consult your vet for dosage advice. For basic homemade diets, it’s usually sufficient to add a couple teaspoons of egg or bone powder to a meat-heavy meal.
Proper dosage of calcium for dogs is important because excess calcium can cause deficiencies and disorders. If find yourself needing to administer calcium to your dog, you should do so under the supervision of your vet.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained or made available through the ColoradoDog website is not intended to constitute or substitute for legal advice or veterinary advice.